Connecting the world

Ten mechanisms for global inclusion
download the full report >

The ‘Connecting the world’ report was prepared by Strategy&, part of the PwC network, for Facebook in support of its initiative.

Global Internet growth is slowing down. Despite the ongoing digital revolution, some 56 percent of the world is still not online. The number of new Internet subscribers grew in single digits since 2013. The slowdown stems from barriers to Internet access that are created by deficiencies in the critical markets that deliver a meaningful Internet experience. We need new mechanisms so that the markets for connectivity, content creation, and retail remove these barriers to digital inclusion.

Next section


To bring the world online, the three main markets that enable the Internet need to work more effectively

  • The Connectivity Market: which provides affordable and reliable access
  • The Content Market: which creates relevant and compelling reasons for people to go online
  • The Retail Market: which is the Internet industry’s sales and service arm and which helps people to discover the Internet

To bring the world online

Next section


The Connectivity Market needs to enhance affordability and boost capacity in a sustainable manner

The Connectivity Market

Next section

The Content Market needs to overcome the challenge of creating more local and relevant material and services

Three content categories can create an incentive for a further 200 million to go online, providing more educational content, making it possible to obtain social services online, and promoting economic opportunity.

The Content Market

Next section


The Retail Market needs high-touch sales models, brand subsidies, and simpler value propositions

  • High-touch sales models

    High-touch sales models can provide the Internet with the same community selling, education, and validation that poorer consumers want before they buy new goods or services.

  • Brand subsidies

    Brand subsidies can enable the poorest to use the Internet. Subsidies have provided millions in India with access to the Internet for the first time.

  • Simpler value propositions

    Simpler value propositions, such as bundled access and content plans or “pay-per-app” plans, reduce the financial risk for new users. They also ease the distribution of Internet services.


Next section

These 10 mechanisms can bring the rest of the world online

  • In the Connectivity Market

    1. Shifting the spectrum away from 2G: Internet becomes more affordable
    2. Better offline distribution of content: People able to download locally cached content and consume it offline
    3. More national and international Internet infrastructure: Internet access prices are cheaper

    In the Content Market

    1. Relevant educational content: Provides a compelling reason to go online
    2. Social services online: Allows citizens to engage with their government more easily and makes them less vulnerable to corruption
    3. Economic opportunity content: People go online because they can earn more, be more productive, and have wider market access
  • In the Retail Market

    1. High-touch sales models: Provide the community selling, education, and validation that poorer consumers desire before taking on new goods or services
    2. Brand- or subscriber-subsidized access: Gives the poorest cheap access
    3. Simpler value propositions: Reduces the financial risk for new users

    For the last half-billion

    1. Disruptive technologies: Technological innovations will reach the remotest and the very poorest

All the world online

Next section

The coming transformation of the Internet

As more people from developing markets use online resources, the nature of the Internet will start to change:

  • There could be five Internet users online in developing markets for every user in developed markets, compared to the current ratio of two to one
  • Internet users in the developing world will seek more content related to education, economic opportunity, and social needs
  • They will likely download entertainment from either Wi-Fi hotspots or other technologies, and consume it offline
  • There will be millions of new Web pages reflecting languages and cultures that are now barely visible online

Transformation of the Internet

Next section


Connecting the world

Connecting the World

Ten mechanisms for global inclusion

Full report - Download (1.2MB, PDF) >

Next section
Connecting the world
© 2018 PwC. All rights reserved.
PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.